A surprise snowstorm didn't keep collectors from attending Freeman's American Art & Pennsylvania Impressionists auction. The sale saw robust competition from a packed room and bids streamed in from the phones and online. The 183 lot auction achieved $2.1 million in sales and registered twice as many bidders compared to the auction in June. "Winter Harmony" by Pennsylvania Impressionist Edward Willis Redfield was the top lot of the day fetching $187,000—a fitting highlight for a snowy Sunday afternoon—while Fairfield Porter's "Morning After a Storm" more than doubled its estimate resulting in $158,500. In addition, new auction records were set for two artists and a private collection of Western art generated fresh interest from buyers.
"This was a strong showing for Pennsylvania Impressionists with nearly half of the sale's total coming from this section. Sotter's "The Neighbor's House" and Coppedge's "Coaling on the Canal" doubled and tripled their estimates, indicating a renewed interest in the category," said Vice Chairman and Fine Art Department Head Alasdair Nichol.
"Winter Harmony" by Pennsylvania Impressionist Edward Willis Redfield was the high point of the sale. The canvas with its distinct impasto and painterly style sold to a private collector in Pennsylvania for $187,000. Executed in 1936, the painting was once exhibited at the Woodmere Art Gallery in Philadelphia in 1959, and again, at the Allentown Art Museum in from 1987-1988.
The afternoon also set two new auction records. Frederick DeBourg Richards' "The Glory of the Alleghenies" soared past its estimate of $12,000-18,000 to achieve $68,500, surpassing the previous auction record of $23,000. And a painting by Morgan Colt, one of the rarest Pennsylvania Impressionists, as many of his paintings were destroyed after his death, achieved a new record. Colt's painting of a Bucks County field (shown at left) sold for$31,250 to a private Midwestern collector.
Another highlight of the auction was the collection from the estate of Robert G. Luckie of Tucson, Arizona. The 22 lots of Western art mostly by artists Kenneth Riley, William Acheff, Michael Stack, and François Kochresulted in $165,101 in sales--exceeding the collection's estimate of $94,500. William Acheff's "Hopi Future" was the top lot and achieved $28,160.